The Good Side

There are also a number of Good Side options. These will all solve the problem. They also have the advantage of being ethical (remember Chapter 22) and effective. All of these options are based on your being open with your sponsor, stakeholders, and management; that is, you tell them about the mistake and the need for an additional 12 weeks of work.

Good Side 1: Shift the Deadline

Your sponsor and your critical stakeholders evaluate the added value (ROI) impact of slipping the deadline and adding the missed requirement. Their analysis reveals that the slip of deadlines and increase in costs will be more than offset by the benefits of the additional functionality. They agree to shift the deadline.

Shifting deadlines is generally not an indication of bad management but, more likely, an indication of good project management process. [3]

[3] Obviously, this depends on whether you are using the techniques covered in this book.

Good Side 2: Shift the Requirement

As we discussed in Chapter 11, you move to a sequential release project development strategy. Your clients and sponsor agree that the deadline cannot be compromised and that the additional 12 weeks of work for the missed requirement can be treated as Release 2. The key difference here is that the sponsor and stakeholders are making the decision, not the project manager.

Good Side 3: Partition and Add People

As we also discussed in Chapter 11, you move to a concurrent release project development strategy. Your clients and sponsor really want the new functionality before the deadline. You obtain their permission to get some extra people and these people are scheduled to work on the missed functionality; that is, you are now running the original project and project team with a new subproject and new subproject team.

Good Side 4: Overtly Degrade Quality

This is a very effective option. With all major players in agreement, you move the team to a fast-track project development strategy. With the new functionality included, you and the team begin to reduce the effort in formal requirements gathering, design effort, documentation, testing, and other nonessential development processes. In other words, you undertake a controlled "quick and dirty" development process. However, because this decision has been made openly and with the full support of your sponsor and critical stakeholders, you also have approval for the necessary "cleanup" (i.e., evaluation and reengineering of the system before any new enhancements are undertaken). In other words, you renegotiate the quality agreement covered in Chapter 10.

Good Side 5: Change the Technology

This option tends to be more useful in larger and longer projects. By shifting to more advanced development technologies (tools such as Visual Basic, Delphi, and componentware), and with skilled people and good tools, the 12 weeks could be made up before the deadline.

Good Side 6: Change the People

This is a very powerful strategy. Recognizing the loss of time that is always consumed by new members joining a team (remember Brooks's Law), with careful planning the " skilling up" of your team could be a viable option. By selective recruitment of consultants and contractors, you can reduce the amount of time required to add the new requirement. As already discussed in a number of earlier chapters, the skills and experience of team members is one of the most significant productivity factors in the project environment.

Good Side 7: Work Harder ”Short- Term

Unlike the Dark Side version of this option, short bursts of hard work can be very effective in picking up the productivity of your team. By working until around 9.00 p.m. each day and by working six or seven days a week, a team of six people can increase the amount of effort by up to 30% in a given period. However, our experience is that the difference between short-term and long-term hard work is directly related to the number of times the team members have had to work hard on previous projects: The more times the team members have had to work hard in previous projects the shorter the time period is before it becomes unacceptable.

Good Side 8: Leave the Project

This could be a very effective but humiliating option, as you have acknowledged that you are the problem. It may be that, for this particular project, you may not have the skills or, alternatively, you may have burned out. In this case, by replacing yourself with a new project manager who has more skills or who can bring a fresh perspective to the project, you could be doing yourself, the team, your sponsor, and the stakeholders a favor. Surprisingly, it could also be a good career move, as you are putting other people's expectations above your own. This could be seen as a very clear commitment on your behalf toward client service.

Good Side 9: Mix and Match

In many cases, by using a combination of some or all of the Good Side options, you maximize your team's capability of delivering the project including the additional 12 weeks' worth of requirements on time. Generally, the mix and match option is the most powerful.

Good Side 10: Stop the Project

If none of the Good Side options are available to you, the most professional option is to recommend that the project is stopped . Clearly, this is a dramatic option. However, you have to make the point that, if no other option is available, your sponsor and critical stakeholders will not get the original requirements and the additional requirements on time. If deadline extension is not an option, any additional effort or cost expended on the project will be a sunk cost.

Radical Project Management
Radical Project Management
ISBN: 0130094862
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2002
Pages: 136
Authors: Rob Thomsett

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